Happy Halloween!

October 31, 2014

Feeling like your little one won’t stay up late enough to trick or treat? Take them to your local village early in the day. Most village shops have candy for the kids, and it’s a fun way for them to get an early start. Happy Halloween, friends!

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High End Decor on a Budget: Consign It On Main

A local designer shares her secret source.

October 29, 2014

By Lorri Elder Dyner, an interior designer in Westchester.

I’m the first one to dial up IKEA or Craigslist when I have a new design client. My whole business is built around finding high-end decor solutions that won’t break the bank! But sometimes, even I have to admit, only a high-end piece of furniture will do.

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Still, even if you do decide to go high-end, why pay full price? Here in Westchester I’ve discovered a few high end furniture retailers where you can still get a steal. First up: Consign It on Main in New Rochelle. (Check back next week for two more suggestions.)

Talk about a treasure trove of beautiful, high-end furniture and antiques, all gently used. In the market for an heirloom quality dresser or have the appetite for a custom upholstered chair? This store is a must-see.

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On a recent visit, I found some gorgeous “greek key” end tables with glass tops, $495 for both tables (see above). These puppies would go for $1,000 EACH if you paid full retail.

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Check out these dining chairs (above). These are no joke — talk about high-end. They were custom made and upholstered for an interior designer’s clients. Brand new, 10 of these chairs would cost $20,000. Consign It on Main has these priced at $5,000 for 10 chairs.

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The shop also just bought out an entire NYC brownstone that housed a decorating store. They have sofas and chair frames for a fraction of the price you would pay in a high-end design store, and all kinds of designer fabrics. This is the perfect time to check it out!

Consign it on Main, 543 Main St, New Rochelle; 914-637-7600 

Lorri Elder Dyner believes that by creating a beautiful home, we return to our best selves.  Lorri helps busy, overextended families take their homes to the next level using down-to-earth decorating ideas.  You can find her at www.returntohomeinteriors.com

 

Paper Plate Jack O’Lantern Craft For Preschoolers

We bet you have all of the materials.

October 27, 2014

By Nadia Fantea Westchester-based architect, designer, blogger and founder of MaMeMima Design Studio.

To kick-off the week of Halloween, here’s a crafts project easy for little hands to make. You probably have all the materials needed already around the house: white paper plates, construction paper, toddler scissors and glue. The little ones get to practice colors, cutting, pasting. You can also practice seasonal vocabulary words while making a cute decoration that can be hung in their rooms, or any other place.

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To start I  have my pre-schooler cut small pieces of orange construction paper and paste them on the paper plate. I helped him by pointing out any white space left  so the plate was completely covered.

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I had already cut off the eyes, nose and mouth for him so he just glued them on top. After he was done pasting the face features he said we had to put a pinecone on top (?). I finally realized (duh mom!) he meant we needed something for the stem of the pumpkin (this kid of mine, nothing gets past him!)

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So I helped him cut a piece of green construction paper into longs strips and glued it at the top.  Last minute I decided to paste a wood stick to make the Jack O’Lantern easier to hold (you can cut off the eyes and you’ll have a mask!)

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I have to confess the perfectionist in me was tempted to correct the twisted mouth and nose. But I let it go. It was his creation and if he wanted a twisted-smile looking Jack O’Lantern, so be it. It turned out so very cute either way!

Nadia is a Peruvian wife and mom living in New York with her American husband and two boys. She moved to the United States in 2005 and has made one of her missions in life to raise her children to be bilingual and pass on her cultural heritage. She is an architect, designer, blogger and founder of MaMeMima Design Studio. On her lifestyle blog,MaMeMima she writes about all things kids, home and design with little snippets of her everyday life.

Giveaway: Jumbo Dog Custom Notecards

Jumbo Dog Artbooks ensure your little one's masterpieces last a lifetime

October 24, 2014

It’s a struggle every parent faces: what to do with all the art and school work that kids bring home from school each day?  Hang it, store it, give it away? How much can you really frame before you run out of wall space?
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The founders of Jumbo Dog (2 moms from Connecticut) think there’s a better way. They will scan and photograph your child’s artwork and mementos and create beautiful custom glass or hard cover books, designed to last a lifetime. Using a wide-format scanner and professional photography studio, you can include everything in your custom artbook, from paintings, to sculptures, to newspaper clippings and trophies.  Jumbo Dog can even sort through your “bins” so you don’t have to.  The final product is beautiful, so you’ll expect to pay for quality, but it’s a wonderful gift anyone would love. (Just think – a coffee table book your guests will actually flip through!)
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Giveaway: Leave a comment to win a set of 25 custom notecards! One winner will be chosen to send Jumbo Dog a special piece of artwork that they will scan and create one set of 25 custom notecards. These will feature your child’s art printed on photo paper and mounted on 80 lb stock. Each card comes with a matching envelope and a custom greeting ($75 value).

CONTEST RULES: We will draw a winner at random. If we don’t hear back from you, we’ll send you a second email. Then 48 hours after you were first notified, we’ll go to the next person. One entry per person, please. Contest will end midnight EST on Friday, November 7, 2014. A winner will be selected and notified within 2 days. Void where prohibited. Federal, state, and local taxes, if any, are the sole responsibility of the winner. By entering our contests, you’re opting to receive updates and news from Wee Westchester and Jumbo Dog.

 

Boo Bash at WeeZee in Chappaqua This Friday

Give them an excuse to wear those costumes.

October 22, 2014

We’re super excited anytime that WeeZee World, an 18,000-square-foot sensory play center in Chappaqua, opens its doors to the public, and this week is no exception. Not only will kids be able to bounce and climb in the Disney-like space if they attend Boo Bash this Friday, October 24, but they’re invited in for Halloween-themed fun. First up at 4pm, a Peek-a-Boo Halloween party for young kids 5 and under.

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Think: Costume conga/limbo parade, pumpkin painting, Pin the Eyeball on the Monster, Spooky Sensory Bin, and even Musical Monster Chairs. There’s even a Trunk-or-Treat event where kids can go from car to car and trick or treat in the parking lot.

During the main event, which begins at 6pm and lasts until 8pm, there will be a haunted house, spooky games, live DJ music, a laser light show, a costume contest, and a dance party.

Tickets are $30 per family with one child; $10 each additional child. Trunk or Treat is $10 per car. For more info, visit WeeZee’s Boo Bash page

Beyond the Cut: Fall Hair 411

Get your tresses back on track with these tips from the pros at Numi.

October 21, 2014

Sun, sweat and salt water. A great combo for a day on the beach. A doozy on your hair. The pros at Numi Salon in Scarsdale give us the scoop on how to get your tresses back in top shape and embrace the trends for fall.

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1. Try a new style. You’re not alone if you’re anxious to make a change after a few months of a low-maintence summer routine. Fall is a great time to try a new style – be it an angled bob, pixie with fringe, or even bangs – and the pros at Numi will help you determine what’s best for you.  Call to make a preliminary consultation with one of their expert stylists and go for it.  (You’ve got plenty of time to grow your hair out before pony tail season!)

2. Go Darker. Hair gets naturally lighter and brassier from the sun in summer. One way to change with the seasons and add dimension to your color for the fall is with bayalage highlights. With balayage highlights, color is applied by hand with a brush, versus traditional foils, for a subtle effect. And yes, ombre is still in.

3. Deep Condition. Use a deep conditioner once a week to add moisture & repair dry hair. Try Oribe Masque for Beautiful Color or any Kerastase masque.

Numi Salon in Scarsdale provides the best in today’s haircare with that extra attention to personal service. Mention Wee Westchester when booking your appointment for 25% off your next service. (cannot be combined with other offers)

Numi Salon, 69 Harney Road, Scarsdale.

This post was brought to you by Numi Salon in Scarsdale. 

4 Easy DIY Kids Halloween Party Ideas

Plus, a spooky (and free!) printable.

October 19, 2014

By Nadia Fantea Westchester-based architect, designer, blogger and founder of MaMeMima Design Studio

Halloween is one of those holidays I got to love since having kids. Before I could care less. Now, I anxiously await October to start decorating and making costumes. For the past two years my husband and I have thrown Halloween parties for our kids, and as a designer, I get really into decorating. I could easily get carried away with all the amazing decorations out there, but I like to make my own.  

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Here are some simple ideas from our last party that almost anyone can pull off. 

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1. Balloon decorations. Little (and not so little) kids love them. Just get them in the color scheme of your party and they will add the perfect festive touch. To take it a step further you can make your own balloon decorations, like this giant spider on the wall (I think this has been the easiest decoration I’ve ever made).  All you need is a black  balloon, six long strips of crepe paper and eyes made out of cardstock. I glued the balloon and his six legs to the wall with tape and voila. It made a statement and kids loved it!
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2. Crepe paper backdrops. These are my go-to decoration for any party. Simply cut (a lot) of strips and place behind your main table or decor. The possibilities are endless with so many color combinations and patterns. [...]

Sponsored Post: Introducing Bodeeo – The Financial Playground

It’s our mission to help parents teach kids about money and secure their financial futures!

October 17, 2014

Do you speak to your child about money? If not, do you want to be able to explain financial concepts to your child, but just don’t know how?

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Introducing Bodeeo.com, an education website, which strives to familiarize parents with financial principles so that they are better equipped to talk to their children about money at an early age. In the world of Bodeeo, the main characters are best friends, Bode and Leo, and they interact with a cast of characters on their “financial playground.” Each character has an area of expertise to help teach the boys (and our kids!)

Bodeeo.com is the brain child of financial journalist and Westchester mom of two young boys, Erika Vujnovich. Two years ago, her five year old son began asking her adorable and insightful questions about money. She figured that if her son is asking questions, other children must have similar curiosities about money. With the belief that it is a parent’s responsibility to teach children about money at an early age, Bodeeo.com was created to equip parents with the basic concepts necessary. Once a parent understands financial concepts, getting kids to appreciate it should be easy. The lessons are geared toward a wide age range of kids, but mostly for those ages 5 up until 13 years old.

Each lesson on Bodeeo.com consists of a fun blog post introducing the topic to parents. The post is followed by a children’s story as well as advice for parents on how to best explain the concept. Finally, all lessons come with a fun, hands on activity! For example, in the Back-to-School Lesson, the concept is introduced and the importance of the back-to-school season on the economy is explained. A cute story of Bode and Leo going shopping for school supplies follows where the boys determine the best deals on school supplies (1 pencil for 50 cents or 10 for $4?). Up next, is the breakdown of the concept and what topics specifically we can introduce to kids from the story (wants vs. needs, consumer report indications, and what investors look for during back-to-school season).  The lesson plan concludes with a fun activity sheet your kids can complete. There are monthly subscription choices as well as a pay- per-lesson option for the Bodeeo program.

Data shows that it is increasingly important for families to be educated in the ways of money as teens struggle to answer some of the most basic questions about finance. In fact, a recent report from ING Direct says that 83% of teens don’t know how to manage money and 87% don’t know much about personal finance.  Let’s start our kids young!

What could be a better investment than making sure, we as parents, secure our children’s financial future?

Plus Wee Westchester readers will receive 50% off your order, now thru November 30th, 2014, with discount code: weewest.

For more information, log onto Bodeeo.com or follow Bodeeo on Facebook or on Twitter @BodeeoKids.

HarvestFest at Westchester’s Ridge Hill is Saturday, October 25th,

Pumpkins, Arts & Crafts, and Trick-or-Treating equals fall family fun!

October 15, 2014

This post was brought to you by Westchester’s Ridge Hill

Bring your costumes & your cutest trick-or-treaters to Westchester’s Ridge Hill on Saturday, October 25th, from 12-4pm, for HarvestFest 2014! There will be an array of seasonal festivities for the whole family taking place at our favorite shopping mecca.

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To officially kick off Halloween, the kids are invited to get their ghoul on and show off their costumes with center-wide trick-or-treating. We’ll even be there to help get the fun started, handing out complimentary trick-or-treat bags, so please come say hi! While you’re there, you’ll also have the opportunity to:

For the artistic fashionistas, Ridge Hill artist-in-residence Kindo will be creating free, custom designed t-shirts, and chalking a community Harvest Mural, with your kids help!

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And of course, there will be no shortage of delicious food & drink. Stop by the Ridge Hill Harvest Market to sample local craft beer from Yonkers Brewing Company and indulge in traditional autumn treats from local Hudson Valley farms, (thanks to Ridge Hill’s partnership with the FarmOn! Foundation.) Sample culinary delights from Ridge Hill restaurants and shops, including Bonefish Grill, Cheesecake Factory, Texas de Brazil, Sur La Table, Teavana and Whole Foods Market Yonkers.

You’ll also have the chance to learn more about Ridge Hill’s Dreamworks DreamPlace, a state-of-the-art, virtual “adventure to the North Pole” experience culminating in a real-life visit with Santa. Ridge Hill’s North Pole Adventure combines the traditional annual visit to Santa with updated technology and experiential expertise of DreamWorks Animation. You can book your appointment through an online app, Santa’s workshop is equipped with LED screens, and your photographs will be available digitally for your own holiday cards! Santa’s DreamPlace opens November 6, but you’ll be able to book your appointment early at HarvestFest! In the meantime, sign up for more information here.

Visit westchestersridgehill.com for a full list of HarvestFest activities. We’ll see you on the 25th!

Westchester’s Ridge Hill; 1 Ridge Hill Boulevard, Yonkers

Diets That Work: The Whole 30 Challenge

What happens when you take sugar, dairy, grains and legumes out of your diet for 30 days?

October 14, 2014

In a new occasional column, we’re asking readers to give us the skinny on a trendy diet they’ve tried out. When two moms at my son’s preschool teamed up to do The Whole 30 Challenge, I was intrigued. I was even more fascinated when they reported that they felt incredible after doing it. Here, one of those moms, Anne Cavaliere Conneely, who has two young children and lives locally, tells us how she pulled it off, and ultimately, if it helped her shed pounds.

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Describe the diet you tried out:
Anne:
The “diet” is called the Whole 30 challenge. It challenges you to omit sugar, dairy, grains and legumes from your diet for 30 days. Among other things, this diet encourages you to eat more “whole” foods and detox your body from all the chemicals we ingest everyday as well as get your body burning healthy fats instead of storing them and burning sugar and carbs.

Why did you do it?
Anne:
I was very hesitant at first. Giving up dairy and sugar completely seemed daunting to me. The more I thought about it though, the more I realized I was ready for a change in the way I eat, which wasn’t great. As I did more research and looked up recipes and food options, I began to feel more confident that this was something I could stick to for 30 days.

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What was the first week like physically and emotionally? What about time wise?
Anne:
The first week was really challenging. That week is described as the hangover phase. Your body is detoxing from sugar and I experienced headaches and even some cold/flu like symptoms. I definitely had to adjust my schedule to make more time to plan meals, shop for ingredients and of course cook which is time consuming, especially with 2 kids.

Was there any particular meal that was most challenging to figure out?
Anne:
The most challenging meal was breakfast. Since most carbs are off the table, so to speak, I really had to make some changes. No milk or sugar in my coffee, eggs everyday — this was an adjustment. But once I got the hang of it I started getting creative and making sweet potato hash, ground beef and sausage with my eggs and I even found some bacon that was compliant with the Whole 30.

Why did you stick with it?
Anne:
I stuck with it because of the promise that after about 12-14 days I would start to feel amazing and notice my body changing for the better. I was also committed to it and wanted to see it through. Plus, if I was going to drink my coffee black for even one day I wanted it to be worth it!

Ultimately, how did it make you feel?
Anne:
By day 13 I was feeling great! I had more energy, I wasn’t snacking in between meals or even having the craving to. Staying away from sugar, which was the hardest to give up because of its addictive qualities, became easier. I was fitting into my clothes better and noticeably losing weight. When other people started noticing it made it even more worth it! I am feeling the benefits of this diet even weeks after I have gone off of it!

Now that it’s over, are you still incorporating anything from it?
Anne: Coming off the Whole 30 was almost as tough as starting it because once you don’t have those rules it’s tough to make decisions for yourself. I am trying to incorporate what I learned into my everyday diet. I am trying to stay away from sugar and carbs enough so that I am still burning all those healthy fats but I am also letting myself enjoy some of the foods I was missing — just not to the excess that I was before :)

Love This!: Iron-On Patches

Happy Patches solve the perpetual problem of holey knees.

October 11, 2014

We’ve all been there: Those cute jeans we sent our kids to school in come home with a rip at the knee. Don’t even think about tossing them. Scarsdale mom Kelsa DeBrabant, who worked in the fashion industry for 10 years, has a solution that isn’t just fun, it’s practical: Iron-On patches. (Full disclosure: She’s a buddy of mine, but her patches rock so I had to share!)

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These super cool (and super affordable) graphic patches will cover any pesky hole. (Or, you and your little one can use them to embellish an old t-shirt, like the one shown below.) Happy Patches are sold in themed packages of 3 patches a piece. Think: Super heroes and pirates, snowflakes (for Frozen fans) and ballet. Keep in mind: Kelsa is wildly creative, and she’ll custom “cut” orders to suit every kid’s taste as well. They cost $12 per pack and are sold on Etsy.

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I tried the space-themed patches out on my 4-year-old’s cords recently. He loved the idea that his pants suddenly had a lightening bolt and a rocketship at the knee. I loved how easy they were to apply. I literally heated up the iron, placed the patch over the hole, and ironed them on. Cords saved!

happy-patches-kelsa-debrabant-etsyTo get in touch with Kelsa (shown here with her kids, Heidi and Paxton), email her through her Etsy page.

 

October’s Happy List

This month’s must-do events, happenings and other fun stuff.

October 9, 2014

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Sesame Street Live is Here!
There are still tickets to Sesame Street Live’s “Let’s Dance” show at the Westchester County Center this Friday, October 10 to Sunday, October 12. Kids are even invited to join their favorite characters, like Abby, Ernie and Cookie Monster, on the dance floor.

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Explore to Their Heart’s Content
The Westchester Children’s Museum Fall Explor-a-thon on Saturday, October 18 from 10am to 2pm sounds like one of the cooler kid events around. Held on the Rye Beach Boardwalk and in the museum’s soon-to-be home (in the old bathhouses), kids will have the chance to build their own roller coaster, try out an electron microscope, experience a wind tunnel and take part in lots of bubble fun. FREE! Also, happening that day: the Fall Festival at the Edith Read Wildlife Sanctuary (from 12pm to 5pm), where there will be storytelling, live music, birds of prey demonstrations, face painting and crafts. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids.

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A Fall Face Lift
Love that Oasis Day Spa in Dobbs Ferry is offering an Organic Pumpkin Spice Latte Facial & Peel this month. 60 minutes for $145. Yum.

Oktoberfest @ Port Chester Hall
We last wrote about Port Chester Hall as part of our train spotting guide. Not only is this beer garden totally kid-friendly, but kids can watch the trains zoom by while you sip a beer. They’re hosting Oktoberfest on October 19, so get a sitter, and head over for some drunken singing. Or, wait until the rowdy event dies down and bring the kids for transpotting another day!

That 70s Show
Remember The Magic Garden, where two hippie chicks (they were actually schoolteachers) told stories and sang songs to kids in the 1970s on public television? There were giggling flowers, talking trees and lots of magic. The due is back for a show at the Emelin Theater in Mamaroneck on Thursday, October 26th. Tickets are $15. Looks adorable.

Two More Cute Shows For Kids
In addition to Tarrytown Music Hall hosting their *free* Family Fun Day this Saturday, October 11 for shows and demos, head there on Saturday, October 18th at 2pm for Tony-winner John Tartaglia’s ImaginOcean. This one-of-a-kind black light puppet show takes kids under the ocean on a journey with florescent colored fish Tank, Bubbles and Dorsel. As they swim, the fish will dance, sing and make new friends, all while hunting for treasure. Looks ADORABLE. Tickets are $25 to $35.

Broadway Theater’s one hour The Great Pumpkin Caper looks equally cute, with three shows on October 25. Here, a jack o’lantern and the toothfairy have to save the world from a pumpkin that’s cursed the world with Halloween everyday. Kids should come dressed in costume. Tickets are $17

Scarecrows and Pumpkin Parade
Give the kids an excuse to wear their costumes before Halloween at Greenburgh Nature Center’s Scarecrows and Pumpkins Parade on Sunday, October 26 from 11am to 3:30pm. Kids will follow the pumpkin trail, spotting friendly scarecrows along the way, and have the chance to shake hands with storybook characters. Apple cider, tattoos and pizza. $10 if booked in advance; $15 at the door.

Three Kid-Friendly (NOT SCARY!) Halloween Events
There are more than 500 giant pumpkin carvings and sculptures in the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden’s Haunted Pumpkin Garden at the New York Botanical Garden, through Friday, October 31. Skittish kids can explore by daylight. Boo at the Zoo, which happens every October weekend at the Bronx Zoo, features hay mazes, costume parades and magic, as well as guided visits to nocturnal animals like bats and owls. My favorite: The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manor always pleases with 5,000 individually hand-carved illuminated jack o’lanterns. Tickets must be purchased in advance; the event often sells out.

Spooky Tales For Little Ears
In the music room at Caramoor on October 30, children are invited to listen to award-winning storyteller Laura Simms tell Spooky Tales. This interactive event will offer young children spooky (but not scary) stories of goblins, ghosts, and happy witches. The performance is followed by a special brew (hot cider) and other ghostly treats (cookies) served in the Summer Dining Room. Costumes encouraged & prizes given to the best costumes (for all). $12 for adults; $7 for kids

 

Why We Love Wilkens Farm Best

October 7, 2014

By Jennifer Garry, who blogs at Cuddles and Chaos, and covers Northern Westchester for Wee Westchester.  In our house, you know it’s officially fall when the nights get a little crisper, the trees are slowly getting sprinkled with color, and we have a date set for apple picking at Wilkens Fruit and Fir Farm in Yorktown Heights. [...]

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Special Feature: Westchester’s Best Family Photographers

October 4, 2014

The fall foliage is peaking and the holidays are right around the corner.  Don’t let another season pass by without capturing your family’s precious faces with a professional photo session with one of Westchester’s best photographers.  We’ve done the work for you, so read on (with your phones — and calendars — in hand.) Goodrich [...]

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Copy That Recipe! The Parlor’s Brussels Sprouts With Honey and Rice Krispies

October 3, 2014

By Lucy Baker, who lives in Irvington with her husband and toddler son and blogs at cheatingvegan.com. Since we moved to Westchester last year, our favorite spot has been The Parlor in Dobbs Ferry. It’s at least as good as the artisanal pizza places we loved so much in Brooklyn, and the vibe makes us feel [...]

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Sponsored Post: Fall in Love with Rochester!

October 1, 2014

Looking for the perfect autumn family getaway? Look no further than Rochester, New York! From the colorful foliage to bountiful pumpkin fields and apple trees, your family will love the abundance of things to see and do in this region. Here’s why: The Great Outdoors Before the snow hits and the temperature drops, there are [...]

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